A new romantic comedy that’s worth adding to the books as a must-watch film to stand the test of time, “Ticket to Paradise” starring Hollywood greats George Clooney and Julia Roberts delights with a story about a second chance at love between two ex-lovers, pursuing one’s dreams despite others’ disapproval, and making peace with your past to finally move forward—all of which is set in the beautiful island of Bali, Indonesia.
Amid the recognizable names making up the lead cast of this movie directed by Ol Parker (“Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” (2018), “Imagine Me & You” (2005)) is one that you may not have heard of: Maxime Bouttier, a handsome Balinese actor-model who portrays Kaitlyn Dever’s character Lily’s love interest, Gede, a humble seaweed farmer, whose decision to marry Lily becomes a point of contention for Lily’s parents, David and Georgia (played by Clooney and Roberts respectively). “Ticket to Paradise” is actually Maxime’s first international film role, having only done local movies since the start of his career.
To be able to make his big debut alongside the likes of Clooney and Roberts is nothing short of an incredible feat, one that Maxime feels overwhelming gratitude for. “Working with George left me speechless on most days,” he said. “I’ve followed his work since I was seven, and it made me the actor I am today, so I never thought it would be possible to be in the same frame as him. It was such a great honor to work with him.”
Speaking with WhenInManila.com, Maxime added that he felt like he fit right in with the cast and crew despite being of a different nationality. He regarded them as his “family” and enjoyed the two months he spent filming for the movie in Australia.
“I guess at the time, we were really having fun as well, because it was the first time for us to kind of meet people outside of our own respective countries, you know, after the whole lockdown. So for us, it was like, ‘Oh, finally, we’re meeting new human beings, you know, from different parts of the world.’ So it was very special for us. The whole project was such a blessing because we were in this beautiful island, up in Hamilton Island in Australia. It felt like a new family, really. And of course, we were shooting with George and Julia, which was like an experience in itself.”
Maxime also opened up about how special it was to be able to showcase the inherent beauty of his hometown Bali in “Ticket to Paradise.” He expressed hope that the movie will help boost tourism once more in Bali post-pandemic and assured tourists that they will enjoy all the sights, the people, and the culture there.
“It’s a very lighthearted script, something we’ve been needing in the world. Ever since COVID hit, Bali’s tourism has faded to a complete halt. Even now, Bali is still struggling to get tourism back, so a movie like this that’s set in Bali in a romcom format will hopefully invite the world back into Bali.”
Maxime then shared his thoughts about the subject of love which is the theme of the movie, particularly on the lesson about finding the kind of relationship that checks all the boxes: Right Place, Right Time, and Right Circumstance. He agreed that it’s a winning formula and admitted that he was a hopeless romantic, much like his character Gede who persisted through the hardships brought upon him by his fiancée’s parents just to marry their daughter.
“It’s such a fairy tale, I guess. Because it’s rare but I think if you find it, that’s where it just becomes very, very special. Because at that point, there’ll be compromises which come so easy between the two partners. I’ve always been kind of a hopeless romantic, so I quite like the idea of having the one in my life, I guess. And it is a rare thing. I like how good they put it, you know, right place, right time, right circumstance. It is there, but you kind of have to look for it, you know? And I think I think that’s the right formula,” he continued.
With “Ticket to Paradise” being Maxime’s own ticket to paradise, that is the paradise of more opportunities in Hollywood, he advises young talents who may be starting their careers or who are hoping to gain their own big break soon to always be open to taking risks and to keep going no matter what.
“There are risks to be taken and [you should] not be afraid to take those risks. Always believe in what you do. Sometimes it could be a very lonesome pursuit because it is you against the world at one point, but you do have people who love you and who can support you, so finding that person would be great as well,” he shared.
“Pursuing dreams is a challenge and I think if you could take that challenge in and succeed, that will be the greatest achievement in life,” he added. “You’ll fail or you succeed; if you fail to take that as a lesson, and then rise above it, and then try to succeed next time. So never give up.”
“Ticket to Paradise” will be shown in Philippine theaters starting October 5, 2022, from Universal Pictures International. It follows the story of exes David and Georgia who find themselves on a shared mission to prevent their lovestruck daughter from making the same mistake they once made, by flying to Bali and hopefully putting a stop to their daughter’s wedding with an Indonesian boy that she just met.
Photos from Universal Pictures International
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